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Drax welcomes CCC’s call for faster progress in delivering UK carbon removals and confirms decommissioning of coal units

Drax welcomes Climate Change Committee report which argues for greater pace from the UK Government on delivering Net Zero targets and more progress on delivering carbon removals technology.

The company has also confirmed that the decommissioning of its coal units at Drax Power Station (DPS) will continue and they will not be available this winter. 

Drax Group (Drax), the renewable energy business, today welcomes the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) report, Progress in Reducing UK Emissions – 2023, and its recommendation that if Government wants to deliver on its climate targets it must deliver specific policy which supports the development of carbon removals projects in this country.

In 2022, Drax provided around 11% of the UK’s renewable energy and it plays a vital role in maintaining the country’s energy security.

Drax’s ambition is to invest billions in carbon removal projects in the UK and the US through game-changing technology – bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).

Drax Group CEO, Will Gardiner, said: 

“The CCC’s report is welcome as it is a holistic view of the scale of the challenge facing us all in reaching Net Zero, as well as acknowledging the vital role that carbon removals technologies like BECCS will play in getting us there. We support its recommendation that faster progress is needed to reach the UK’s ambitious carbon removals targets.

“With the right support from the UK Government, we plan to invest billions into delivering BECCS at our power station in Yorkshire. Our formal discussions with the UK Government on BECCS deployment and parallel discussions about a ‘bridging mechanism’ to support the transition to BECCS have been productive and we are looking forward to continuing these in the coming months.

“We also await the publication of the UK Government’s biomass strategy, which we hope will reinforce the critical role that BECCS will play in energy security and decarbonisation, as well as timelines for the deployment of initial BECCS projects in the UK.”

The company has also confirmed today that the decommissioning of its two remaining coal units at Drax Power Station will continue and that they will not be available to generate power this winter.

This confirmation follows a recent request by National Grid ESO to explore the possibility of extending coal generation at Drax Power Station but concluded that due to a combination of technical, maintenance and staffing reasons, the extension of coal over this winter was not possible.

The company first announced in April this year that after almost 50 years of coal power generation at Drax Power Station, its coal units would close.

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